Dale Money | September 30th, 2019
Chase Elliott would need to beat out Hendricks teammate Alex Bowman to get his third victory of the season and second on a road course. His other road course win being at Watkins Glen back in early August. Elliott had arguably the best car most of the day, managing to just beat out Harvick for most laps led with 35 and the stage two win. Four cautions over the final 20 laps would help scratch his way back to the front of the pack, eventually getting by Harvick with less than seven laps remaining.
Kevin Harvick, Clint Bowyer, Brad Keselowski, William Byron, Martin Truex Jr, Ryan Blaney, Jimmie Johnson, and Joey Logano would round out the top 10.
Bowman would have to deal with a number of on-track obstacles, which included having to race the backup car and forcing him to start in the back of the field as well as a six-car pileup on lap 23. What looked like a pretty damaging knock on his chances to qualify for the Round of 8. To his credit, however, this would not derail his efforts, battling his way back over the course of the race once it got to the tail end he was able to bully his way past a number of good drivers.
Ryan Newman was battling Bowman for the final spot in the playoffs up by a single point very late in the race, a quite unfortunate slipup would end up costing him big. On Lap 108 Newman was battling the other driver fighting for the last spot in Aric Almirola, he would end up missing the backstretch chicane, this would give him no choice but to serve a stop-and-go penalty, taking him out of contention for a playoff spot. Almirola would finish 14th losing out by five points.
A hole in the radiator would end Jones day as well as his last-ditch effort to survive the round. However, the playoffs were an utter disaster for the young Gibbs driver and it started in the playoff opener in Las Vegas. Having been stripped of his fourth-place finish after it was later discovered in post-race inspection, his car did not pass the optical scanning. Jones finished last overall in the round of 16 with -73 points.
With the new rules being implemented on rules infringements, it makes him the first driver to be disqualified from a Monster Energy Series race. In previous years, Nascar would allow them to keep their results and instead dole out team fines as well as crew suspensions.
Four drivers were eliminated from further playoff contention after the race, which included Erik Jones, Aric Almirola, Ryan Newman, and Kurt Busch. The round of eight will kick off next week at Dover Speedway, Kyle Busch currently holds a five-point lead in the standings.
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Main Image Credit:Embed from Getty Images